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colleen
Regular Member
Username: swirl360

Post Number: 263
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 08:14 pm:       

OK, I'll make a long story short. I'm taking two true perculas from a friend who isn't taking care of them. Putting them in a 10gal fish only tank. They will be the only fish. Got some filter squeezings from work, added some ammonia, got the cycle started. When I get the fish, I'm also getting the already cycled cartridges from her tank. Here are my questions:
1: Can I add a couple of dwarf blue leg hermit crabs or a single scarlet hermit crab later to help keep the sand sifted?
2: Later, if I decide to add live rock, how do avoid a major ammonia spike? I've heard some horror stories about this.
3: I keep finding conflicting reports on water changes. How does everyone here feel about saltwater water changes?

I'm not going into this as unprepared as I sound. I have done quite a bit of research on saltwater tanks, but I really like to get personal experiences. I don't think this is going to be a huge change as far as care goes for me. I check my water in my brackish tank almost every day (I think its fun) and I always keep my tanks topped off because I hate the sound. Any advice greatly appreciated!!!
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Kenny
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 580
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 08:51 pm:       

Im a S/W noob and really dont have enough exp at this point to give you bulletproof advice. However I'll throw this out there untill someone else can come along to help out.

1) your going to have to manage the nitrates by constant water changes without liverock. adding inverts will just add to the bioload. Asterae snails seem to clean up diatoms very well. They are big, and your already overloaded for a 10g with 2 clowns so only one.
2)"Basicly" unless you are getting lr from a cycled reef aquarium you cant add it to a tank with things living in it. It will shoot ammonia off the chart as all the stuff dies off.
3)20% to manage nitrates below 10ppm. without liverock your going to have to do them very often. S/W fish cant take changes the way f/W can.

I think youd be better off to use a bigger tank and get it prepaired for a few weeks before adopting the fish, but i understand thats not always possible.
I'm only a Landscaper; not an English Teacher.
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colleen
Regular Member
Username: swirl360

Post Number: 264
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 08:58 pm:       

I have no problem at all with doing frequent water changes. In fact, I like to do water changes. Most of my friends say that I take care of my fish too well. If I had a larger tank, I would put them in it. As of right now, I don't really have the space for a bigger tank right now. Although, my friend mentioned maybe giving me the tank also, which would fit where i have the 10gal since its a 20H. But for now, I will keep with frequent water changes. Any other suggestions for small cleaning beings? Something that won't add much to the bio load?
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Kenny
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 581
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 09:16 pm:       

about #2, Not really overloaded but just without any LR taking out nitrates i would suggest you keep things lean.

I have a blueleg hermit and an emerald crab. The blueleg works on the substrate soemtimes but the emerald stays on the rocks. Bluelegs stay very small and dont mess with the fish at all.
I'm only a Landscaper; not an English Teacher.
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colleen
Regular Member
Username: swirl360

Post Number: 265
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 09:23 pm:       

I was leaning toward the blue legs since they are tiny little things. I read that they are good to help keep the sand moved around. Unfortunately, the ones we got in at work last week all died. We probably won't order any for a few more weeks, which is fine for me since I'm already adding too much at once. I just hope the next shipment is better!
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 8798
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 10:58 pm:       

If space is that tight and a few inches makes a difference, colleen, the 20H has the same footprint as a 15, not a 10. (The 20XH has the same footprint as a ten.)

I don't have SW, but my nephew has a pair in his 29. I did a quick Google just now, and while I found 2 websites that listed a 20 as a minimum, all the rest listed 30 gallons. I would think a ten would be too small for one full grown adult, much less two.

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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colleen
Regular Member
Username: swirl360

Post Number: 266
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 11:24 pm:       

Thanks for the replies! I know that a 20H doesnt have teh same footprint as a 10, but the stand i have it on as a couple of extra inches on each side. Many people recommend a larger tank because water is more stable that way(same with freshwater). However, I have been doing some research and found that many people have been successful with this type of set up. Its definitely going to be more work, but thats ok, its fun. A few years back, my store was putting together 10gal set ups with two small fish and 20lbs live rock. I talked to my boss and he said that they were very successful little tanks. Probably in a few months, I will get another larger tank, so this is temporary. For now, I'm going to keep a very close eye on water quality. If I dont have some little critter to sift the sand, how likely are those "gas pockets" that I read about. In my brackish tank, I have some MTS to help keep it sifted, and stir it up a bit when i do a vac. If I really don't need those little things to keep it sifted, then thats great! Maybe I'm just being paranoid about "gas pockets."
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colleen
Regular Member
Username: swirl360

Post Number: 267
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 11:26 pm:       

Forgot to add this. The two fish Im getting are used to poor water quality. She never changes any water and only cleans it when it gets really green. Im positive her nitrates are through the roof. How long should I take to acclimate them?
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Kenny
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 582
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 09:59 am:       

What kind of sand are we talking about here? I think you Need aragonite to stabalize the water and most of what I saw for sale was not all that fine to trun anerobic. Hermits dont burrow anyways so they are not going to stir the sand. They just clean off crap in the top couple of grains. Since you are going to rely on external filtration insted of LR, You might wanty to use 1" of crushed coral or aragonite and look into nitrate removing resins and carbon for the filter unit

Have you been reading the forums over at http://www.nano-reef.com/ That might help you aswell.
I'm only a Landscaper; not an English Teacher.
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colleen
Regular Member
Username: swirl360

Post Number: 268
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 10:31 am:       

I have play sand that is mixed with crushed aruba shell. It is the same thing that I have in my brackish tank. I have been testing that a lot to make sure it keeps the water stable, and the pH is always 8.2-8.3. I only have about an inch, or just over. Do you think I'll be ok if I just stir it up some during water changes? I have been looking into the nitrate remoiving resins for a long time, but I want to know really how useful they are. Wouldn't regular small water changes work better? Thanks for that website. I had come across a lot of different sites, but hadn't foudn that one yet!
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Kenny
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 584
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 10:37 am:       

Thats the same substrate I use in my cichlid setup. I bet that will work just fine, And it looks pretty too, doesnt it

If your not already reading it check out the link I put in Jeffs thread about substrates.
I'm only a Landscaper; not an English Teacher.
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colleen
Regular Member
Username: swirl360

Post Number: 269
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 10:41 am:       

I love the way it looks! It looks like the beach to me since some of the shells are on the top! I like white substrate also, but I really wanted a more natural look, and this came out even better than I had expected! That link is great! I have found out a lot already about clean up crews and such in a 10gal. I think this may eventually become a much more expensive project!
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